A Medical Semantic-Assisted Transformer for Radiographic Report Generation

Publication Name

Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)


Automated radiographic report generation is a challenging cross-domain task that aims to automatically generate accurate and semantic-coherence reports to describe medical images. Despite the recent progress in this field, there are still many challenges at least in the following aspects. First, radiographic images are very similar to each other, and thus it is difficult to capture the fine-grained visual differences using CNN as the visual feature extractor like many existing methods. Further, semantic information has been widely applied to boost the performance of generation tasks (e.g. image captioning), but existing methods often fail to provide effective medical semantic features. Toward solving those problems, in this paper, we propose a memory-augmented sparse attention block utilizing bilinear pooling to capture the higher-order interactions between the input fine-grained image features while producing sparse attention. Moreover, we introduce a novel Medical Concepts Generation Network (MCGN) to predict fine-grained semantic concepts and incorporate them into the report generation process as guidance. Our proposed method shows promising performance on the recently released largest benchmark MIMIC-CXR. It outperforms multiple state-of-the-art methods in image captioning and medical report generation.

Open Access Status

This publication may be available as open access


13433 LNCS

First Page


Last Page




Link to publisher version (DOI)